Rescue teams have retrieved 31 bodies, and continue searching for 172 more people, after a ferry collided with a cargo ship Friday in Talisay, in the Cebu province of the Philippines, according to a Coast Guard official.
The accident happened about 9 p.m. Friday in the Mactan Channel, about two miles northwest of Cebu City.
Over 600 people had been rescued as of Saturday morning, Lt. Elgen Gregorio of the Philippine Coast Guard told CNN. Authorities were still searching for survivors at that time.
The ferry, named MV St. Thomas Aquinas, was coming from Butuan City and the cargo ship, named the Sulpicio, was leaving Cebu for the province of Davao in Mindanao. The Sulpicio had some 20 people on board.
The ferry sank, but was first able to send out a distress call which the Coast Guard heard.
Coast Guard, Navy, and commercial ships were involved in the rescue effort, along with the cargo vessel involved in the crash.
Some 44 of the rescued people are being treated in one hospital in Cebu.